Tree Cookie Coasters

Length of Project:
Project theme:
Suitable for grades:
Tools & Materials
Material List
  • dry branch, ~4"-6" in diameter
  • sandpaper, 80-120 grit
  • varnish
Tool list
  • work gloves
  • safety glasses
  • dust mask
  • backsaw
  • measuring tape
  • paint brush
  • Optional

  • palm sander
  • ear protection
  1. Put on work gloves to protect your fingers, and safety glasses to protect your eyes. Hold the branch firmly to a solid surface or workbench, and use a backsaw to cut the end off a branch. Try to make it square to the length of the branch (like the bottom of a soup can).
  2. Move the saw up the branch by 1/2" and make another cut. Try to keep the second cut parallel to the first cut so your coaster will be flat.
  3. Repeat step 2 to make an entire coaster set of 4 or 6 if you choose.
  4. Put on a dust mask. Place your sandpaper gritty side up on a flat table and run the faces of your coasters along the surface until the saw marks have disappeared. Work your way up from 80 grit to100 to 120 until they are smooth.
  5. Apply a thin coat of varnish to the faces and sides of the coasters, leaning them up against a scrap piece of wood so that the backs can dry. Add varnish to the outer edges to protect any interesting bark features that you wish to keep.
  6. Add as many layers of varnish as you choose. Allow each coat to dry fully, then lightly sand the faces before applying the next coat.
  7. Make a pot of tea and invite some neighbours over to enjoy your new set of coasters!
Extension Challenges
  1. Try making a trivet or pot holder by cutting a tree cookie off a bigger log, 6" or more in diameter.
  2. Cut tree cookies off thinner branches and drill a small hole in the top of each to make ornaments, pendants, rear view mirror charms, etc.
  3. Paint a picture or design on the coaster before varnishing.
  4. Saw a class set of 30 and donate them to a local kindergarten class for the students to sand and decorate.
Suggest an Edit